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Weekend Completion: Niece’s Nursery

January 25, 2010
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As hinted at in my earlier post, last weekend I headed to my little brother’s house to do a quick room makeover while his wife was at work.  He and I wanted to surprise his wife with a nursery for their almost-born daughter Caroline.   I was pretty stoked to be able to create a girly room for my niece.

They’re fortunate to have just the spot for Caroline – a spare bedroom complete with attached bath.  But the room was not quite nursery-ready:

That Saturday we only had an 8-hour window in which to transform the room, so my brother toiled long and hard the night before, getting the space cleared out and painted.  We chose a nice neutral beige to keep the room flexible and landlord-friendly:

They had already been given a crib and changing table, but had no storage for the baby’s toys and books.  We hopped over to Ikea and Tarjay and found a cute little bookshelf and some storage bins. The assembly of the bookshelf wen off without a hitch.  (That’s a first for me, actually.)

We chose not to install the cardboard backing on the bookshelf.  I really liked how the tan walls showed through the shelf, so why mess with perfection?

Only a few hours later, we had the crib and changing table assembled.  I just about had a fit when it all came together.  All the cheerful cuteness of pink and green and stuffed animals was just too much.    Here’s the view as you enter the room:

And a view of the crib and adjoining bathroom:

(Note:  DO NOT WORRY – My sis-in-law is planning to replace the wooden blinds for baby-proof window shade.)

I had great hopes for this final wall, the one across from the crib.  Alas, it did not materialize quite as planned.  We’d planned to install a white wooden shelf above the crib – one with hooks on it for bibs, and baskets for diaper-changing necessities.  A windy spray-paint disaster adventure happened, and with the quick turnaround time for the surprise, the shelf just didn’t work out.  But it will eventually.

Now that I’ve shown you the room, let’s talk details.

I’m not sure my little bro can complete a project in a room without fiddling with some wires.  In this instance it came in quite handy:  he switched out the  hideously generic overhead fixture for a precious $6 one from Ikea.  I was amazed at how simple and easy it was – I think even I could do it, with the right instructions.  In fact my bro’s going to put together a step-by-step guide for me to share with you all later this week.

He also installed a dimmer switch to provide customizable lighting.  That oughtta come in handy when he has to sneak into the room in the middle of the night to change those stinky diapers!

Ikea always offers a budget-friendly selection of plush toys for the little ones.  I just loved the pink and green hand puppets, as well as the stuffed mouse – so of course I grabbed them for Caroline.  I also threw together some framed art to dress up both the bookshelf and the walls.

I’ve got to give my bro props for spotting this whimsical owl lamp first at Tar-jay.  I thought it was a perfect way to break up all the pink accents in the space, and we all know that lighting just makes a room.

We wanted to use the family rocking chair, so we added a cozy pink throw and a fun Owl pillow (again, Tarjay) to tie it into the room.  Not bad for a $20 chair update!

As soon as Caroline is old enough to be put to work, she can learn to stash her toys in these bins that slide right under the bookshelf.

Later that night I was thrilled to hear that my sis-in-law came home from a “rough day at work” to find a nursery that she loved.  I love surprising people just as much as I love a good “While you were out!” But while little Caroline’s nursery is off to a good start, I’m already itching to do more with it.

That’s it for today, but I’ll be sure to share some more in-depth details later this week.

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch,



12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2010 3:10 PM

    What a beautiful transformation. The pink and green are so sweet for a baby girls room. Just gorgeous. I love the bookshelf. I think that’s my favorite thing in the whole room.

  2. Julie permalink
    January 25, 2010 5:53 PM

    It looks amazing, Jane!! Really nice work!!! I’m glad she liked it!!! :)

  3. Gayle Hefty permalink
    January 25, 2010 6:51 PM

    Jane, you need to be on HGTV! This is just adorable!!

    • Borrowed Abode permalink*
      January 25, 2010 9:24 PM

      Gayle, You’re the one who should be on HGTV. Your house is just perfect!

  4. Dot permalink
    January 25, 2010 9:03 PM

    As I said before, I’m completely biased….this is the BEST nursery I have EVER seen!!!

  5. January 26, 2010 1:45 AM

    I totally sent a link to this post to my friend Lauren who’s due in a few weeks and still working on nursery ideas. Too, too cute! Such a sweet surprise for your sister-in-law and soon-to-be niece! :)

  6. January 26, 2010 12:19 PM

    This is so great! I love that owl pillow.

  7. Jon permalink
    January 26, 2010 2:46 PM

    It all went too smoothly – I sanded that shelf down and will be mounting it above the changing table probably over the weekend. A new coat of paint will fix it up. Thanks for helping us create Caroline a room she will love!

  8. Dot permalink
    January 26, 2010 7:08 PM

    Yes, thank you so much Jane! She will absolutely love her new digs! I know I do!! :O)

  9. January 30, 2010 11:50 PM

    Just lovely! such a thoughtful think to do for a loved one :)

    ~ Emily N. from “too Blessed to Stress”

  10. Carita permalink
    February 24, 2010 3:44 PM

    This was such a wonderful gesture for you and your brother to come together and do. This room is filled with so much love!


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